Felix Auger-Aliassime on dominant Nikoloz Basilashvili win: It feels unbelievable



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Felix Auger-Aliassime on dominant Nikoloz Basilashvili win: It feels unbelievable

Rising Canadian star Felix Auger-Aliassime said returning to the court felt unbelievable and he was extremely happy with the way he kicked off the season restart. Auger-Aliassime, ranked at No. 20 in the world, made a dominant start to his Cincinnati Masters campaign as he saw off three-time ATP champion Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4 6-1 in the first round.

In his last tournament played before the Tour suspension -- in February -- the Canadian made the round-of-16 in Acapulco before losing to Briton Kyle Edmund. The Cincinnati Masters is being held in New York, in a bubble.

"Feels unbelievable, it feels great, obviously with no crowd and maybe less emotions involved, we don’t see it or feel it as much. But I’ve been looking forward to coming back to competition and there’s no better way to start than a match like this."

.Auger-Aliassime said after beating Basilashvili, per Michael Gallo/Twitter.

Auger-Aliassime came up big on break points

World No. 27 Basilashvili made a perfect start to the match, having broken Auger-Aliassime in the opening game of the match.

The Georgian had two consecutive game points in the fourth game but failed to convert and the Canadian broke back to level the set at two games apiece. Auger-Aliassime then saved two break points in the following game but dropped his serve once again in the seventh game as Basilashvili took a 4-3 lead.

Basilashvili had a game point for 5-3 but failed to convert and he paid the price as Auger-Aliassime broke back to level the set at four games apiece. The Canadian then routinely served out for 5-4, before he broke Basilashvili in the following game to steal the opener.

Auger-Aliassime served out the opening game of the second set to love but Basilashvili also served out comfortably his service game to make it all tied after the opening two games of the first set. From that moment, the match was absolutely one-sided as Auger-Aliassime claimed two breaks and never lost his serve to dominantly win the second set and claim a straight-set win.

Auger-Aliassime won 73 percent of his first serve points and converted 5-of-9 of his break point chances en route to beating Basilashvili in just an hour and 16 minutes of play. Auger-Aliassime now awaits the winner of the match between qualifier Tennys Sandgren and Italian Lorenzo Sonego.